Have you ever browsed through an online store, searching for that perfect t-shirt or pair of shoes, only to find that the color you wanted wasn’t available in your size?

Frustrating, right?

That’s where product variants come in.

In this article, we’ll explain what product variants are and how they can help your online store succeed.

What are Product Variants?

Product variants are different versions of the same product that offer various options to customers without creating separate product listings. These options can include product attributes like size, color, style, material, or any other characteristic that might change the appearance or functionality of the product.

Instead of listing each variant as a separate product, they are grouped together under a single product listing, making it easier for customers to find and choose the specific version that suits their preferences.

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Product Variants are a part of a complete product content management strategy, Learn what is product content management?

What are Shopify Product Variants?

If your product comes in more than one option, you add variants for it such as size and color. Each combination of those options can be a different variant for that product, for e.g. Small, Blue T-shirt, Medium, Blue T-shirt, or Large, Blue T-shirt. 

On Shopify, you can see a list of all variants on the product detail page and can manage the inventory for each of these from the Inventory page. 

Different Aspects of Product Variants: What Can They Do For You?

Following are some of the key aspects of product variants that can help you in taking your business to new heights of success.

1. Barcode

types of product variants: product variants

Barcodes are unique patterns of lines, often accompanied by numbers, that represent information about a product. These codes are designed to be easily readable by machines, such as barcode scanners.

Moreover, they play a crucial role in inventory management and retail operations. Each product variant usually has its own distinct barcode, allowing businesses to track individual items.

When a barcode is scanned at the checkout counter, it provides information about the product, such as its name, price, and other details stored in a database. This helps speed up the purchasing process and ensures accurate pricing.

2. Price

types of product attributes price

Prices indicate the monetary value assigned to a product. They reflect the cost that consumers need to pay to acquire the item. Prices can vary between different product variants based on factors like production costs, quality, brand reputation, and market demand.

Setting the right price is essential for attracting customers and generating revenue. Businesses often conduct market research and analysis to determine the optimal pricing strategy for each product or product variant.

3. Inventory

product variants inventory

Product variations are a great way to manage inventory. For example, if you’re selling t-shirts in your store, the product page will not show the total number of t-shirts in stock. Instead, it will show how much of each bundle variant is available.

So if the user is checking out a pink t-shirt in size Small, it will show only how much of that specific type is available.

This is very beneficial as products with different variations have different demands and it helps to know how much of each variant is left in inventory. This way, you can prepare for inventory stock-ups. 

4. Media

product variants media

In the context of products, media refers to visual and audio materials used to showcase and promote them. This can include product images, videos, descriptions, and advertisements.

Furthermore, media is crucial for providing potential customers with a clear understanding of the features, benefits, and uses of a product.

Businesses use media to create engaging product presentations, enhance their online and offline marketing efforts, and provide customers with a comprehensive view of what they’re considering buying.

5. Promotions

product variants promotions

Promotions are marketing activities designed to attract customers’ attention and encourage them to make purchases. These activities often involve special offers, discounts, bundles, or other incentives that create a sense of value for the customer.

Additionally, promotions can apply to specific products or entire product categories, and they are used to boost sales, clear out excess inventory, or introduce new product variants to the market.

Also read: E-commerce Product Images: Best Formats

Why Product Variants Are Helpful to E-commerce Stores? 

Variants can create value for e-commerce entrepreneurs, and add benefit to their business. Here’s how: 

1. Increased Clicks

If a person is looking for something specific, such as a Blue Polo Shirt, they won’t land on your product unless you have used variants.

By including the variant Colour: Blue in your product catalog, it increases the likelihood of someone landing on your product during their search. 

2. Enhanced User Experience

Using a variant adds value to the user experience. Each type of variant has its own demand. A black t-shirt will most likely have a higher demand than a purple t-shirt.

If you don’t customize the whole user experience on your online stores with variants, visitors will not be able to browse through variants and make a customized purchase.

3. Improving the Customer Experience

Product variations help improve the customer experience by making it easier for them to search through hundreds of products to find the products that they are looking for. It also allows them to compare different products that vary only slightly from one another.

So if you’re selling a product in 7 different colors and 4 different sizes, rather than having separate pages for all of them, your customer can access them all on one page.

The customer won’t have to search through all listings for their color and size and they’ll be able to see the different variants available in their selected color and size on one product page. This provides a more organized and engaging shopping experience, as it requires less time and effort from the customer. 

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4. Better Sales

Product variations also lead to increased sales because they give your products greater visibility. 

This happens because there may be certain colors or sizes of your products that don’t rank well, but variations of those products with greater visibility will help low-ranked products show on the same product pages.

Also, by having all variants listed, customers might find something they didn’t know existed, and go through with buying that. 

By being part of a variation, all products benefit from one another. This means that product reviews and queries will be merged and bundled together, and lower-ranked products will benefit from other products that rank higher.

For example, if your Black Tote bag has a higher ranking with more reviews, and your Blue Tote Bag has a lower ranking, all your reviews for the black bag will appear for the blue bag too.

This can improve the conversion rate and SEO for the lower ranking bag, as it influences a customer’s decision and increases trust.  

How to Add Product Variants in Shopify?

If you’re using Excel spreadsheets, it can be tedious to add multiple variants for each product. You must also ensure that your CSV file is in a format that is compatible with the platform that you’re using. Another way to add multiple variants is through a PIM such as Apimio

Solutions like Apimio let you add variants for each product once, and sync them to multiple e-commerce platforms. This way, you don’t have to add a new variant each time you upload new products. You can assign previous variants to new products.

This is very efficient in instances where you’re selling similar products with similar variants. For example, if you sell apparel in limited sizes and colors, instead of creating a separate variant for each product, you can assign existing ones to your products.

You can save time, and get your products to market faster. 

Become more efficient with PIM tools that automatically populate your variant fields. Learn about our product content tool.


In essence, product variants are the diverse options that allow your ecommerce store to cater to a wide range of customer preferences. From various colors and sizes to distinct features and styles, these variants offer customers choices that align with their unique needs.

By implementing product variants effectively, your ecommerce store can enhance customer satisfaction, expand its product offerings without cluttering the catalog, and improve overall shopping experiences.

Embracing product variants empowers your business to adapt to diverse consumer demands, fostering loyalty and success in the dynamic world of online retail.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do product variants save webpage space?

Instead of creating separate listings for each variant, you can showcase all options within one product page. This keeps your store organized and prevents overwhelming visitors with too many similar products.

2. Can I use product variants to run targeted promotions?

Absolutely! You can offer promotions on specific variants to cater to different customer segments. This personalized approach enhances engagement and increases the chances of sales.

3. How do product variants encourage repeat business?

By catering to diverse preferences, you create a personalized shopping experience. This positive interaction increases customer loyalty, leading to repeat purchases and brand advocacy.

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